Prize 2016 Finalists Celebration

The 701 CCA Prize Celebration: Come Find Out Who The Winner Is.

Date: Thursday, December 1, 2016 from 7 to 10 pm

ADMISSION: $20, 701 CCA Members; $25, non-members


701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, S.C., is excited to announce that the finalists for the 701 CCA Prize 2016 are Colleen Critcher of Florence, Yvette Cummings of Conway and Jena Thomas of Spartanburg. The 701 CCA Prize 2016 is a competition and exhibition for South Carolina artists 40 years and younger.

The three finalists’ work will be shown in the 701 CCA Prize 2016 Exhibition, which will open Thursday, November 3, 2016, with an artists’ reception, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. The exhibition will run through December 18. The winner of the 701 CCA Prize 2016 will be announced during a 701 CCA Prize 2016 Celebration on Thursday, December 1, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. This year’s Prize is the third installment of the biennial event.

“The jury panel selected three outstanding artists,” 701 CCA board chair Wim Roefs said. “They had to choose from a strong field of 15 artists. While we had hoped for a larger number of submissions, the many really excellent artists who submitted made the process extraordinarily competitive. With Critcher and Cummings, we have two artists who already have made considerable waves in South Carolina. For one, both were represented in the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial 2015. Thomas is a very new arrival on the South Carolina art scene. Coming from Florida, she started teaching at Spartanburg’s Converse College this semester.”

“It is interesting,” Roefs said, “that 13 of the 15 submissions were from women. It’s remarkable that there were no submissions from Midlands artists, even though the previous two winners of the 701 CCA Prize, James Busby and Shannon Lindsey, are from Chapin and Columbia respectively.”

The three finalists were selected by an independent jury consisting of David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Jonell Logan, independent curator and founder of 300 Arts Project LLC in Belmont, N.C.; and Jennifer Smith, gallery & marketing director of The Arts Center of Greenwood in Greenwood, S.C.

The Prize’s purpose is to identify and recognize young South Carolina artists whose work is exemplary in its originality, shows awareness of artistic developments and is of high artistic merit. “With the 701 CCA Prize, 701 Center for Contemporary Art has added a crucial component to the eco-system for artists and the visual arts in South Carolina,” Roefs said. “Prior to this 701 CCA initiative, the state did not have a prominent event to highlight the best young talent in South Carolina.”

The 701 CCA Prize winner will receive a six-week, paid residency at 701 CCA; a solo exhibition at 701 CCA; and an ad in a national publication.

Critcher was selected for last year’s 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial. Since 2008, she has had solo and two-person exhibitions in the South Carolina towns of Lake City, Florence and McCormick and in Savannah, Ga. She has been in some 20 group shows, mostly in South Carolina and Georgia but also in Long Island City, N.Y. Among the venues where Critcher has shown are Francis Marion University in Florence, Coker College in Hartsville, S.C., the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and the Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art in New York. Critcher earned an MFA in Painting from SCAD and a BA in Visual Arts from Francis Marion. She teaches part-time at Francis Marion.

Cummings in 2015 was selected for the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial and for Contemporary South at Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, N.C. Also in 2015, she had a solo exhibition at Black Creek Arts Gallery in Hartsville, S.C. Other solo shows were at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C., and City Art Gallery in Columbia, S.C. Her work has been in some 30 group exhibitions, mostly in the South and Midwest. Among the venues where Cummings has shown are Women Made Gallery in Chicago, Ill., the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art and Kendall College of Art & Design, both in Grand Rapids, Mich., the Florence County (S.C.) Museum, the Pickens County (S.C.) Museum of Art and History, the Anderson (S.C.) Arts Center and the Durham (N.C.) Art Guild. Cummings holds an MFA and a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio and a BFA from Kendal College. She also studied at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy.

Thomas received her MFA from the University of Miami in Florida and joined the art faculty of Converse College in Spartanburg this year. She has exhibited extensively in the past decade in Florida and New England. Among her recent solo and two-person exhibitions are those at Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery in Stamford, Con.; Contemporary Art Space in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; and Green Monkey in Miami. Thomas has been represented at Art Hamptons, Art Palm Beach and the Miami International Art Fair. She has exhibited at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Coral Gables Museum, and the South Florida Cultural Center, all in Florida. Her work was selected for New American Painting’s 2014 MFA Edition.


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